If you’re looking for Mike Schlagenhaufer outside business hours, you should probably look outdoors. Acuity’s Manufacturing Consultant is an avid outdoorsman, with a range of hobbies that keep him busy year-round.
A native of Germany, Mike earned an associate’s degree in tool and die from Carl Schaefer Berufsfach Schule in Ludwigsburg. He also had a passion for racing motorcycles and achieved an accomplished record on the track.
“I never won an individual race, but I had enough points on the circuit to finish in the top three overall for several seasons and in the top spot in 1987,” he says.
Mike also learned to scuba dive while living in Germany. “We used to vacation in the Mediterranean. I discovered I really enjoyed snorkeling and it just progressed from there into diving,” he says.
In 1988, Mike moved to the U.S. where he joined his brother, Ron, and opened a tool and die business. With the demands of this new venture, Mike put his racing days behind him.
“We were working 16 hours a day, six days a week—there was no time for racing. Plus, motorcycle racing is really a young man’s sport,” Mike says.
However, Mike did find time to practice his scuba skills as a member of a volunteer fire department. “Our district had a large lake, and we had a dive team. I earned my certification as a search and rescue diver,” he says, adding that he still dives recreationally when he can.
Mike later married his wife, Peggi, and they have three grown children. The brothers eventually sold the business, and Mike went to work for an archery manufacturer. He also discovered a new pastime—bow hunting.
“The challenge of bow hunting is that it’s really a contest between you and the animal,” Mike says. “I mainly hunt whitetail deer, which have a phenomenal sense of smell, eyesight, and hearing. It’s a challenge to make yourself invisible.”
Mike has had some memorable hunts, but for him the best part of the experience is simply being outdoors. “It’s amazing what you can see when you go hunting. You might have a blue jay land on you or have possums and squirrels walk right by you. Part of the enjoyment is about how close an animal can get to you before you are busted,” he says.
In 2015, Mike joined Acuity and moved to Sheboygan County. About that same time, Mike bought a touring motorcycle, and he and Peggi enjoy driving the scenic roads of the Kettle Moraine. “Once you have the experience of open air rushing past you, you’re hooked,” he says, stressing that they always ride with helmets and full gear.
Mike and Peggi have long enjoyed camping as well. Originally starting with a tent, the couple gradually upgraded their camping gear over the years and today pull a 30-foot RV trailer. “We enjoy visiting the great state parks in Wisconsin and try to take a long trip each year to places like the Great Smoky Mountains or Shenandoah National Park,” Mike says.
This year, the couple spent a week in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. “It was just Peggi, our dog, Morgen, and me, off the grid with no cell coverage and away from everyone,” Mike says. “It was wonderful.”
Did you know? Retail Specialist Aaron Stamm is Mike’s stepson (Peggi’s son)!